China announces official names of six regions in South Tibet

China has standardized the names of six places in South Tibet, a region that is part of China's territory but in which some areas are currently controlled by India.

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 13 on its website that it had standardized in Chinese characters, Tibetan and Roman alphabet the names of six places in South Tibet, which India calls "Arunachal Pradesh" according to the regulations of the State Council on place names.

The official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo'gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidêngarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bümo La and Namkapub Ri.

"China did not previously have official names for some South Tibet areas, but now China has a better understanding and recognition of the geography in South Tibet, including the names of areas in the region," Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Beijing's Minzu University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, naming these places demonstrates China's territorial sovereignty to India, Xiong noted, adding that legalization of the regions' names is a part of the rule of law.

South Tibet region is located alongside China's southwestern border and India's northeastern border where Sino-India border disputes are centered.

In 1987, India abruptly announced that it was officially designating the region as "Arunachal Pradesh," but the Chinese government has never recognized India's occupation of the region, nor the legitimacy of the province.

On April 5, China's Foreign Ministry criticized India for provoking a border conflict by inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to the controversial eastern part of the China-India border, an action which the ministry said will "bring no benefits to India."